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that Cromwell and all that followed him were rogues. The
reason he did not disclose these words to the Mayor and
Jurats before was that the said Anthony Norton owed him
some money, and he wished to get his money first. 3

These Royalist outbreaks, somewhat foolhardy as they
appear now, were stimulated by the advance of the Scottish
army under Hamilton into England, and occasioned much
nervousness in London. On igth August the Committee
wrote to the Committee at Chichester that there was a
design by some malignants to seize the city, which if
effected would cause great prejudice to the kingdom, as
shown in the case of Colchester. They were instructed to
keep a vigilant eye on all motions in those parts. 4 With
the crushing defeat of the Scots army by Cromwell on
1 7th August, and the capitulation of Colchester, which had

1 Cal. Proceedings, Com. for Advance of Money, pp. 1350-1.
a Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, dxvi, 81.

3 Rye MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com., xiii, 4), p. 223.

4 Cal. S. P. Dom., Chas. I, dxvi, 81.


stood a long siege under the Earl of Norwich, to Fairfax
ten days later, the Second Civil War practically came to
an end. Its result was to throw the reins of power more
fully into the hands of the army chiefs, especially Crom-
well. They had at their command a superb and never-
defeated force of nearly 50,000 men, irresistible in the
strength of unrivalled discipline and religious fervour. It
was composed for the greater part of a class superior to
the rank and file of most armies men who were anxious
to return to their civil occupations, but could be depended
on to obey a summons to arms if required. For the next
ten years, with the exception of the short campaign of
1651, England knew internal peace, but it was peace im-
posed and maintained by the sword.

It was indeed high time that the land should have peace.
Not only were the national finances in a hopeless state of
disorganization, but the ever pressing need for more money
caused the imposition of fresh and burdensome taxation.
In the early days of the war the Parliament had to live
from hand to mouth, and to pay its forces from such chance
sources as occurred, such as Royalist fines and composi-
tions. Later the assessment raised by monthly payments
from the counties for the support of the New Model Army
was estimated at .641,000 a year, 1 but in Sussex, at any
rate, it does not seem to have been regularly paid. In an
agricultural county like Sussex, the continual drain of able-
bodied men to the colours must have tended to impoverish-
ment, only partially mitigated by the excellent business
done at the ordnance factories. The excise " that Dutch
divill, excise, that insensibly devoures the poore and will
impoverish the rich " was levied not only on food and
drink, but on goods of almost every description, and pressed

1 R. O. Audit Office Declared Accounts.

2 From A List of the Names of the Members of the House of
Commons . . . together with such sums, etc. as they have given them-
selves for service done.


on all classes. And its collection seems sometimes to have
been attended with great hardship. " When plundering
troops killed all the poor countrymen's sheep and swine,
and other provisions, whereby many honest families were
ruined and beggared, these unmerciful people would force
excise out of them for those very goods which the others
had robbed them of; insomuch that the religious soldiers
said they would starve before they would be employed in
forcing it, or take any of it for their pay." '

The amount of the excise on food was generally five per
cent.; "all beefs muttons veals porks lambs and other
butcher's meat, to be killed for provision of victuals, shall
pay one shilling in every twenty shillings value of the
beast when he is living." Every butcher had to render a
weekly account of his killings ; in default of a true return
he incurred a penalty of double the duty, and was pro-
hibited from carrying on business for twelve months. The
tax amounted to a halfpenny on each rabbit, and a penny
a dozen on pigeons. Householders killing for their own
consumption were bound to make a return and pay the

The agriculturists no doubt did what they could to pro-
tect themselves. Rents were very grudgingly paid, even on
the estates of the great landowners who adhered to the
Parliament. In the five years ending in 1646, the Earl of
Northumberland had lost either by actual damage or by
the non-payment of rents 42,^00^ The wages of agri-
cultural labourers remained in the early years of the war
at the same level as previously, that is, at yd. a day, with
a tendency to rise to &/. 3 These wages were fixed by the
justices of the peace, who seem to have acted fairly in view
of the circumstances. The year 1646 was the first of a
series of six years in which the harvest was uniformly bad.

1 Memoirs of Colonel Hutchinson, p. 271.
* Hist. MSS. Com., Report iii, 86.
3 Gardiner, Civil War, ch. xlvi.


The price of wheat, which in plentiful years averaged about
30^. a quarter, rose to an average of 65.?. ^\d. in the three
years from 1647-9; an d oats, rye, and pease, the staple
food of the labourer, in like proportion. Meat rose in price
about 50 per cent. 1 Through this period agricultural wages
were gradually increased, until in 1651 they were fixed at
is. 2d. a day.

Yet in spite of the trouble of the times, the stress of war,
increased taxation and diminished rents, it appears that
some of the nobility and country gentry were still able to
maintain their customary state and lavish expenditure.
The household accounts of Lord Dacre at Herstmonceux
Castle from August 1643 to December 1649 were carefully
kept and have been preserved; 3 they give a remarkable
insight into the economy of a large country house in Sussex
at the time.

Francis Lord Dacre was born in 1619, and was therefore
about twenty-three years of age when war broke out. He
was nearly related to Sir William Waller, and himself took
an active part on the Parliamentary side. In a letter to
Lord Grey of Werke, the deputy Speaker of the House,
written from Herstmonceux on 22nd January 1643,
he says:

" On Wednesday night I received your lordship's of the
ninth of this month, and would have most gladly obeyed
the commands of the House of Peers, by coming presently
away to wait on the affairs of this kingdom on the 22nd,
had not the ways ever since been so extremely clogged by
a very deep snow, that men pass not without much diffi-
culty and danger. I beseech your lordship to add to this
reason the weakness of my own health, not being able to
endure the rigour of the journeying on horseback in such

1 Rogers, Hist, of Agriculture and Prices, v, 205, 623; vi, 54, 286.

2 See the interesting article by T. Barrett Lennard in S. A. C., xlviii,
from which the following particulars are drawn.


exceeding cold weather, as now it is; and to represent this
to their lordships' favourable constructions; not that J
intend to make long use of any way to excuse myself from
that duty, which I shall ever owe to the Commonwealth,
but very shortly shall give my attendance on their lord-
ships with all willingness and readiness. And so I rest
" Your lordship's

" Most humble servant


He strongly opposed the ordinance for the King's trial,
and was one of the twelve Roundhead peers who attended the
House of Lords in January 1649 among the others being
Manchester, Northumberland, Pembroke, and Denbigh
and unanimously rejected it.

Considering the size of Herstmonceux and the constant
entertainment of guests there, the number of servants is
not remarkably large. About twenty indoor and outdoor
menservants, including grooms, gardeners, falconers, etc.,
and about ten women seem to make up the total. Only
two gardeners were kept, the chief receiving 2 IDS. a
quarter, the usual wages of the upper servants, and the
under man only i$s. The regular servants were all given
board and lodging. A woman who helped to weed in the
garden was paid ^d. a day. Casual labourers seem to have
received is. a day in 1644; four men were paid i 45. for
six days' work in digging up young trees and planting
them in the park. Thomas Edmonds, the cook, received
3 a quarter, the coachman and grooms half that amount,
the postilian i.

The cost of bread consumed by the household, which, of
course, did its own baking, seems to have varied from ,i
to 2 6s. 8d. per week. The amount of beer consumed was
prodigious; it is calculated by Mr. Lennard at an average
consumption of eight gallons per week to every man,
woman, and child in the castle. But it is possible that a


good deal may have been given away to outside labourers.
Claret was purchased at about 2s. a gallon, and sack " for
my ladies use " at $s. The variety of fare consumed was
very great. About thirty different kinds of fish appear in
the accounts, including crabs, 4 for I s. ; herrings, 4 for 2d. ;
lobsters, 5 for 2s. Sal. ; mackerel, 40 for 2s. 8d. ; oysters, 2d.
to 3^. per dozen; fresh salmon, 5-y. each; soles, 7 for
2s. 4.d. ; sprats, 300 for is. 6d.; mullet, unpriced. 1

Game and poultry were also in great abundance and
variety, nearly forty different kinds being enumerated.
They include capons, is.', chickens, $d. ; ducks, 6d.; geese,
i s. 6d. ; quails, four dozen for 24$-., bought from a French
ship; turkeys, 2s. ; wheatears, $d. per dozen ; and woodcocks,
4d. each.

The beef and mutton required for the castle were pro-
vided from the home farm, so that there is no record of
their purchase. Of articles of grocery, sugar was bought at
lod. a pound, raisins at 4^., cloves at Sd. per oz., and pepper
at \\d.

Among the numerous visitors to the castle were the
Lords Nottingham, Westmoreland, Montague, and Stam-
ford peers of the same political convictions as Lord
Dacre and Sir William Waller, his kinsman. Lady Anne
Waller seems to have brought an army of followers; in
August 1647 sne was staying at Herstmonceux with two
sons and three daughters, one gentlewoman, a nurse, and
four maid and six men servants. If the castle wanted many
appointments now considered essential, there were, at any
rate, feather beds and warming pans; and a cooper's bill
for sundry work includes " putting 4 hoops to the bathing

1 " Arundel mullets, as they say here,

Are the best in England for good cheer
But at 6d. the pound 'tis pretty dear."

From Thomas Baskerville's Journeys in England, temp. Chas. II.
Portland MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), ii, 276.



War had not entirely killed sport. There are copious
references in the accounts to hawking, coursing, and shoot-
ing. It is curious to read at this date of partridges being
turned out : " Paid Mr. Shoarditch for 5 partridges to be
turned abroad 2s. 6d" But Lord Dacre's own favourite
diversion was his "yought," which he kept at Pevensey.
He was probably the first of English yachtsmen. The
accounts show that the yacht sailed at times certainly as
far as London. John Waters, " pillate," was paid 2 los.
for conducting her home from Gravesend.

Lord and Lady Dacre drove abroad in a coach-and-six ;
on one occasion his lordship hired a coach to travel down
from London, and paid 4. "js. for it, with his " benevolence "
for the coachman 5^. Considering the difficulties of Sussex
travel this does not seem excessive, but it was in the month
of June, when the roads would probably be in good con-
dition. Under the Commonwealth the cost of coach hire
was fixed at 2Os. a day for four horses, and los. a day for
two, to travel upon the roads to and from London thirty
miles a day " excepting in Sussex roads, which being
worst and hardest for journeying, shall be travelled as far
only as is reasonable, or as shall be agreed or undertaken
by the coachman upon hire." l On one occasion 4^. 6d. was
paid for " a jornaye to Rye after enquirie of a box which
my lady expected out of France."

It is indeed a refreshment to turn from the horrors of
war, the sufferings of ejected clergy, and ruined Royalists
and plundered peasants, to this smiling sketch of peace and
plenty. It suggests that in our preoccupation with the
great game of politics, and its results, we are apt to regard
the stirring events which were seized upon by sensational
pamphleteers, and were the daily bread of excitable poli-
ticians, as affecting the general life of the community more
deeply than they actually did. And the rapid rise of Eng-

1 Perfect Diurnal, 2nd January 1655.


land under Cromwell to a commanding position in Europe
and at sea may point to the fact that the devastation
wrought by the Civil War was less complete than we are
sometimes inclined to believe. Fascinated by the lurid
scenes which fill the foreground of the picture, we fail to
observe that the surrounding landscape is but slightly

Yet even into the peaceful Eden of Herstmonceux the
serpent entered. A few years later Major-General Goffe
wrote from Chichester to Secretary Thurloe : " The Lord
Dakers is gone beyond sea upon some discontent betwixt
him and his lady." l

With these particulars of the economy of the household
of a peer it may not be out of place to compare some items
in the expenditure of a well-to-do country parson during
the Protectorate. The Rev. Giles Moore was admitted
rector of Horsted Keynes in 1655. The parsonage was in
so ruinous a state that it cost him 250 to make it fit to
dwell in. His "yearly servant" John Dawes received a
wage of .5, and a maid-servant, Rose Colman, 3 per
annum. Jobbing gardeners were paid is. a day. On one
of Mr. Moore's visits to London he purchased some fruit
trees for his garden " an apricock tree is. 8d. ; an orange
tree 8d. ; a pair of royal Windsor paires is. &d. ; two Kentish
pippins 2s. qd. ; two Flanders cherryes 2s. 6d. ; twenty six
young roots of Provence roses $s. 6d. ; one gallon of straw-
berries is. 6d.; for 8 young apple trees I payd Js" Mr.
Moore went to London once or twice a year, and on each
occasion bought a number of books. " I bought in London
of Mr. Clarke at Mercers Chapel, Grotius de Jure Belli
etc. 5-y.; of a bookseller in Little Bretagne, Camden's
Britannia, 1 14^." Soon after his induction he purchased
a present for the wife of his patron. " I payed to Alderman
Hinde, in Lumbard Street, goldsmith, for a faire silver

1 i3th November 1655. Thurloe, State Papers, iv, 190.


tankard of 3802., which, at $s. yd. anoz., came to ^"10 15^.3^.;
for engraving thereupon Mr. Michelborne's 1 and his wyfe's
arms, on whom it was bestowed, and for a cabinet given to
Mistress Anne, at the same time that the other was given
her mother, 1 $s." He did not neglect his creature com-
forts during these visits to town. " 5th Aug. I went to
London, coming againe on the 8th. I spent on a fishe
dinner at the Crowne and Harpe, Old Fleet St., 8^. 6d.
Spent other wise 2s. 4^.; oastler 2s. 6d.\ tapster is. ^d. I
bought of my countryman Mr. Cooper a new hat costing
together with the band 1 $s."

Bed-furniture and other household stuff was purchased
of "William Clowson, upholsterer itenerant, living over
against the Crosse at Chichester, but who comes about the
country with his packs on horseback." Mrs. Moore seems
to have had little control over the family expenditure. " I
gave my wyfe 1 $s. to lay out at St. James' faire at Lind-
field, all which shee spent except 2s. 6d., which shee never
returned mee." But she seems to have done a little farming
on her own account. " I bought of my wyfe a fat hog to
spend in my family, for the which I payed the summe of
30^. ; the 2 flitches of bacon, when dryed, weighed 64 Ib.
I gave her to buy a qr. of lambe $s. 6d"

Considering the value of money at the time groceries
and similar articles were exceedingly expensive. " I bought
a Cheshire cheese of 13 Ib. weight 5^. 8<af.; for 2 dozen of
lemons and basket I gave 2s. 2d. ; 8 Ib. of raisins at yd. the
Ib., 4^. 3^.; 10 Ib. of powder sugar at yd. the Ib., 6s. 3^.;
i Ib. of white powder sugar lod. ; i Ib. of pepper -$d. ; I Ib.
of cherries iod.\ 2 oz. of tobacco is." With tobacco at 8s.

1 William Michelborne, of Horsted Keynes and Stanmer, eldest
surviving son and heir of Sir Richard Michelborne, was born about
1601, and married in 1631 Anne, daughter of Laurence Ashburnham
of Broomham, Esq., by his first wife, Sybil, daughter of George Goring
of Danny, Esq. Their daughter Anne was born in 1633. See Notes
on the Family of Michelborne, by Col. F. W. T. Attree, F.S.A., late
R.E., in S. A. C., 1.


a pound the labourer in receipt of is. a day can scarcely
have enjoyed a pipe.

Clothing was also dear. " I bought at Sir G. Lr. Hunt's
Sons partner, at the signe of the Ship in St. Paul's Church
Yd., 2 yds. of blackish cloth, costing mee 1 2s. ; a yard
of velvett, 2.5. 6d. ; a satin cap plaited 5*. ; 13 yds. of grass
greene serge at $s. $d. the yd., and for greene silke fringe
at i s. %d. the oz. in all 2 i6s." " For 3 yards and of
scarlet serge, of which I made the library cupboard carpet,
besydes my wastcoate made thereof, 1 5 s." " For a payr of
gray woollen stockings I payd 3^. ; for a payr of worsted,
which I bought in London 6s. qd. Lent to my brother
Luxford at the Widdow Newports, never more to be
scene! is." 1

1 The Journal of the Rev. Giles Moore; S. A. C., i, 65-127.



THE events of 1648 strengthened the extreme party
in the army which held that the King ought not to be
restored on any terms whatever, but brought to trial and
deposed as a public enemy. In October 1648 Ireton drew
up The Remonstrance of the Army, in which he developed
two theses, the danger of continuing to treat any longer
with the King, and the justice and expediency of bringing
him to trial. In addition, the " Sovereignty of the People,"
the moderate punishment of delinquents, and the advis-
ability of paying the soldiers' arrears of pay were discussed.
On 1 8th November the Council of Officers adopted the

An interesting petition to Fairfax, the Lord-General,
was sent at this time by Mr. Samuel Jeake and others of

" We earnestly crave that amongst the midst and multi-
plicity of your weighty agitations, these our few petitionary
proposals may have admission into your serious thoughts,
which out of our faithful affection to your honour and
tender care of the weale of the Republic we as humbly as
earnestly remonstrating both declare and desire;

" First, that as we do fully adhere to your late Remon-
strance and are resolved to venture lives and fortunes in
defence of the Army in the just prosecution of it; so do
we desire that no delays (as conceiving them altogether
unsafe) may be admitted thereon.



" 2ly. Considering that want of care and vigilancy (as
well as fidelity) in Committees and others be-trusted with
public affairs hath been the seminary of many evils in this
kingdom, we entreat that care may be taken to refine
them, and that such as shall in any ways be obstructers
of justice either by opposing it, or not improving their
intrusted power to that purpose may be excluded, and
also that the like sedulity may be used in removing the
Committee of Accompts and appointing others in their
places, they being such whose endeavours are more to
ensnare than to advance the public good.

" 3ly. The kingdoms groaning under the burden of free-
quarter and unreasonable taxes, occasioned by the un-
faithful dealing of those entrusted with the public treasure,
requires (as we humbly conceive) some exquisite search,
and those being found that have anyway abused the State
by such fraudulent practices, as to design the public treasure
to their own private advantage deserve to be severely dealt

" 4.1y. Minding the nakedness of these marine parts and
the great dangers we lie exposed to, if any new commo-
tions (which God forbid) should break forth, we earnestly
sue that some careful provision may be made for the sea-
coast, and especially near this place, the better to strengthen
the hands of the kingdom's friends, and to prevent (at
present) unthought-of mischiefs.

" 5ly. Being grieved to hear the slanderous aspersions
the Army is and hath been loaded with, notwithstanding
its desert to the contrary : we heartily desire that all such
as shall be known to asperse them or to act or speak
against their proceedings in reference to the execution of
justice and righteousness may be brought to condign pun-

" 61y. The principal actors in and abettors of our miser-
able differences by reason of connivance in some, alliance
in others, with other such wiseblinding bribes, have re-


gained strength to rally again and again, when we had
well hoped they were irrecoverable: wherefore we humbly
intreat your Honour that some Commissioners may be
appointed to find out the actors and fomentors of the late
war and bringing in of the Scots, and being found to
secure them or otherwise, without superficial dealing in
matters of this concernment, yet a special care be had of
the non-oppressing their families.

" /ly. Because of the distance of this and many other
garrisons from the head-quarters, and the necessity of
intelligence from thence to animate the soldiery and well-
affected residing therein, to join with and in defence of
the just proceedings of the Army; we therefore humbly
beseech that there may be an impartial communication of
the actions of the Army to the respective garrisons that
shall remonstrate with them by such actors as each garri-
son shall to that purpose appoint, and that all such of the
country as either have or shall show themselves worthy
to be confided in may be put in a posture of defence." l

As an attempt to express an opinion on the burning
question of the day, and at the same time to call attention
to local grievances, this petition is ingenious. And that
such a Puritan town as Rye should hail the army as
saviour is a sign of the times.

This is not the place to discuss the justice or policy of
the trial and execution of the King. We are concerned
mainly with the prominent part which was played in them
by Sussex men. And the different courses taken by Sussex
members of Parliament in this crisis are examples of the
varying shades of Parliamentary opinion.

The army chiefs who directed the transaction having
once made up their minds that the King's removal was

1 S. A. C., ix, 54. Dr. Smart there expresses the opinion that the
address, which is undated, was written in June 1647. But it seems
obviously posterior to the Scottish invasion and the Remonstrance of


necessary to the safety of the State, or to their control of
it, at least shrank from none of the consequences of their
determination. They scorned to take advantage of such
easier methods as assassination, and strove to clothe their
acts in some semblance of a legal process, even though
they could only do so by constituting a revolutionary
tribunal. By this decisive act, deliberately planned and
publicly done, they set the seal to their own proceedings ;
they converted what was before a successful insurrection
into a definite revolution.

An apologist for the regicides might urge the personal
ground that if the King had got the upper hand he would
have given the Roundhead leaders a short shrift. The gist
of the whole matter is to be found in Manchester's plea
for peace four years before. "If we beat the King ninety
and nine times, yet he is King still, and so will his pos-
terity be after him, but if the King beat us once we shall
all be hanged, and our posterity be made slaves"; to
which Cromwell replied : " My lord, if this be so, why
did we take up arms at first? this is against fighting ever
hereafter, if so, let us make peace, be it never so base"; 1
and in Cromwell's oft-quoted saying " that if he met the
King in battle, he would fire his pistol at him as at

If there was one person whose reputation came out of
the affair not only with credit but with glory, it was the
King. He who through long years of intrigue had played
the anti-national part, and had disgusted the better sort
among his followers with his eagerness to invoke foreign
aid against his own subjects, became at one stroke a
national hero. Few men by the manner of their death

Online LibraryCharles Thomas-StanfordSussex in the great Civil War and the interregnum, 1642-1660 → online text (page 18 of 30)